We are Modern Orthodox and are a constituent member of the United Synagogue

Israel Update 8.4.21



Israelis stood in silence on Thursday morning as a 2-minute siren sounded throughout the country marking Holocaust Remembrance Day. Read more here


Each year, six Holocaust survivors are chosen to light torches at Yad Vashem on Holocaust Remembrance Day in memory of the six million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust. Summaries of these survivors’ incredible and moving stories may be read at this link by clicking on their individual names: Read more here



(figures from Weds 24/3 in brackets for comparison)


The number of serious patients in Israel has dropped to 290 (500) on Thursday, the lowest figure since the beginning of December.  Some 274  (679) new cases were identified on Wednesday. The death toll is 6,270 (6,131).Read more here


A mass wedding in an unregistered Bedouin village near Rahat has reportedly become a COVID-19 super-spreader event, with at least 65 of the guests diagnosed while health authorities estimate that some 100 people have been infected.  Read more here


Israeli combat troops and soldiers in training will no longer have to wear face masks when they are in open areas, as part of a new Health Ministry-approved pilot programme scheduled to last three months. Read more here




A fast Israeli COVID test has received European approval. Spectral IT gives relatively accurate results after 20 seconds and could aid the resumption of international travel.  Read more here




Hopes of achieving herd immunity from COVID-19 received a major boost Monday, after a new Israeli study showed that the inoculated are protecting those who can’t or won’t get vaccinated. The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found that with every 20-point increase in adult vaccination rates in a community, the risk of children there testing positive halves. Read more here


Israeli infectious diseases experts reported that vaccinated staff members at a Safed hospital seemed to be protected from coronavirus even after prolonged exposure to infected family members. This is the first report describing the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine in preventing the virus from adhering to the mucosa of vaccinated persons, precluding the possibility of carrying the virus. Read more here


Around 1 in 1,000 Israelis who caught COVID has been reinfected, a large-scale study  (of 149,735 people ) has shown, indicating that repeat infection is more common than widely thought. Read more here




A single dose Israeli-made oral COVID vaccine created by Oramed Pharmaceuticals has been found to generate antibodies in pigs. Approval for use in humans is expected by the company’s chief  scientific officer within 6 months. Read more here




Foreigners who are vaccinated or recovered COVID-19 patients and who have first-degree relatives in Israel will be able to enter the country to visit them. They must submit a formal request to the Population and Immigration Authority and receive approval prior to their flight. They must also show proof of vaccination or recovery, proof of relation to those they are visiting and provide a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of travel.Read more here




An Iranian missile hit an Israeli-owned cargo ship in the Arabian Sea last week. Read more here


An Iranian-flagged ship in the Red Sea was reportedly hit by a limpet mine on Tuesday. Arabic media reports claimed the ship, Saviz, was an intelligence-gathering vessel linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.    Read more here




A gun that sprays out a protective web of synthetic skin to cover burns and wounds could soon be used by doctors, allowing patients to avoid the pain of re-dressing wounds with bandages. Nanomedic, the Israeli company that invented the gun, called Spincare, says that it allows burns patients to move more easily and to shower, which is often difficult with traditional bandages. Read more here

IceCure Medical, an Israel-based maker of tumour-freezing technology, has received notification from the US Food and Drug Administration recognizing its ProSense product as a “breakthrough device” to freeze tumours in a number of medical conditions including breast cancer.Read more here




GERMANY: Elbit Systems Deutschland, a German subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Systems is to supply night vision goggles to the German Federal Police following the purchase of these goggles by the German Armed Forces, as well as by the Netherlands and Australian Armed Forces. Read more here



LEBANON: Israel has offered to provide hospitals in Lebanon with ventilators to treat coronavirus patients “due to the severe shortage of such devices in Lebanon,” according to the Israeli Health Ministry Director-General. Read more here


KENYA: The Israeli government will establish an 8 acre model farm in Embu County to teach farmers how to harness advanced irrigation technology to produce food. Read more here


SOUTH AFRICA: Israel’s BlueGreen Water Technologies, a world leader in eradicating toxic algae from water sources, is assisting local government authorities in South Africa to transform toxic water into healthy drinking water. Read more here



A Gazan who met Israeli peace activists on ZOOM was tortured by Hamas and forced to divorce his wife. Read more here




FROM THE US GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE ( a legislative branch government agency that provides auditing, evaluation and investigative services to Congress.) Since 1993, the U.S. government has provided more than $6.3 billion in bilateral assistance to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. This aid ceased as of Jan. 2019, but the Biden administration has announced its intent to resume funding…If funding resumes, we recommend that USAID (1) verify that prime awardees have procedures to ensure compliance with anti-terrorism requirements before making subawards and (2) conduct post-award compliance reviews in time to make corrections.  Read more here


The Biden administration has privately confirmed to Congress that the Palestinian Authority has continued to use international aid money to reward terrorists but said the finding won’t impact its plans to restart funding. Read more here


U.S. Secretary of State Blinken announced Wednesday the renewal of $150 million in U.S. assistance for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). Read more here


In response to the U.S. decision to restore funding for UNRWA, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN said, “Israel is strongly opposed to the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity happening in UNRWA’s facilities. We believe that this UN agency for so-called ‘refugees’ should not exist in its current format. UNRWA schools regularly use materials that incite against Israel and the twisted definition used by the agency to determine who is a ‘refugee’ only perpetuates the conflict.”          Read more here




Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram, 21, won two gold medals at the  recent Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Sofia, Bulgaria. Read more here




Israeli researchers have created an improved wheat variety by adding a gene segment of wild wheat, thus restoring essential traits lost in the domestication process thousandsof years ago, and making it more resistant to climate changes and extremely dry conditions. Read more here




Intel Corp. has unveiled its highest performing data-centre processor, optimized for the cloud and high-end computing and promising a performance 46% higher than the previous generation of products. The core of the processors, called Ice Lake Server, was developed in Haifa and produced at its Kiryat Gat plant in Israel. Read more here


Israeli biohazard disinfection startup WarpUV  plans to start delivering its AirFort machines this year to help airports contain the spread of bacteria, spores and the viruses that cause the common cold, seasonal influenza and Covid-19. (TY Michael O.) Read more here




Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren will star as Golda Meir in a new film  focussing  on the decisions made by Meir, while surrounded by the infighting from her all-male cabinet, during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Read more here




Chris Haslam :So what’s a holiday in Israel really like? link to article


Chris Haslam: Can Israel really become the next Med holiday hotspot? link to article


Hugo Cox: Tel Aviv property: link to article